Analyzing Series-Parallel Circuits: An In-depth Study

Categories: Engineering


In the vast field of electrical engineering, understanding the intricacies of circuitry is crucial. This comprehensive report delves into a laboratory exploration focusing on series-parallel circuits, utilizing the commonly studied model of Drosophila melanogaster—the fruit fly of electrical circuit analysis due to its simplicity yet profound capacity for illustrating complex principles. By investigating a series-parallel circuit's behavior under various conditions, we aim to elucidate the fundamental concepts of electrical current and voltage distribution across different components, leveraging the mechanical engineering perspective to bridge theoretical knowledge with practical application.

The Significance of Series-Parallel Circuits

Core Principles

Series-parallel circuits represent a cornerstone in understanding electrical networks, combining elements of both series and parallel configurations. This hybrid structure offers a unique insight into the distribution of voltage and current within complex circuits, reflecting real-world applications from household wiring to sophisticated electronic devices.

Objectives of the Experiment

The experiment was designed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Construct and analyze a series-parallel circuit.
  • Investigate the characteristics and behavior of series-parallel circuit connections, including the distribution of voltage and current.

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Experimental Methodology

Safety First: Adhering to Laboratory Protocols

Prior to commencing the experiment, stringent safety guidelines were observed to ensure a secure laboratory environment. These included familiarization with all experimental procedures, obtaining prior authorization for unscripted investigations, and adhering to chemical handling protocols.

Equipment and Setup

The laboratory was equipped with:

  • A D.C. Voltage Supply
  • A Digital Multimeter
  • A Bread Board
  • Crocodile Clips and Connection Wires


Constructing the Circuit

  1. Using livewire 1.11 pro apps, the circuit was constructed as per the given schematic, ensuring accurate placement of resistors R1 to R4 and a power supply setting of 5V D,C.

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  1. Voltage drops across resistors R1, R2, R3, and R4 were meticulously measured with a voltmeter.
  2. Current flow through the circuit, including IT, I1, and I2, was determined using an ammeter.



Resistor Value Measured Current Calculated Current Measured Voltage Calculated Voltage
R1=200Ω I1= 6.19mA I1= 6.20mA VR1 = 1.24V VR1 = 1.24V
R2=400Ω I2 = 6.19mA I2 = 6.20mA VR2 = 2.47V VR2 = 2.48V
R3=300Ω I3 = 4.29mA I3 = 4.30mA VR3= 1.29V VR3= 1.29V
R4=680Ω I4 = 1.89mA I4 = 1.90mA VR4= 1.29V VR4= 1.29V
IT = 6.19mA IT = 6.20mA

Measurements obtained from the experiment were systematically recorded, revealing the intricacies of current and voltage distribution within the series-parallel circuit.

The analysis involved comparing measured currents and voltages against calculated values, employing Ohm's law (I = V/R) and principles of series and parallel circuits to derive theoretical expectations.


Insight into Current and Voltage Relationships

The experiment illuminated several key principles:

  • The total current in the circuit (IT) equates to the sum of currents through individual branches, validating the concept of current division in parallel circuits.
  • Voltage across components in parallel remains constant, aligning with the principle that parallel components share the same voltage.

Reflections on Experimental Accuracy

Discrepancies between measured and calculated values, though minimal, underscore the importance of precision in experimental setup and measurement. Factors such as resistor tolerance and meter accuracy play a crucial role in the observed values.


This detailed exploration into series-parallel circuits not only solidified foundational electrical principles but also highlighted the significance of precision and safety in experimental practice. The successful construction and analysis of a series-parallel circuit provided a practical framework for understanding the distribution of current and voltage, reinforcing theoretical concepts through tangible experimentation. Future investigations may expand upon this groundwork to explore more complex circuit configurations, further bridging the gap between theoretical electrical principles and their real-world applications.


  1. Floyd, T.L. (2019). Principles of Electric Circuits. Pearson.
  2. Nilsson, J.W., & Riedel, S.A. (2014). Electric Circuits. Prentice Hall.
Updated: Feb 28, 2024
Cite this page

Analyzing Series-Parallel Circuits: An In-depth Study. (2024, Feb 28). Retrieved from

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